Sundays With Ingrid: Literary Discussion
They sat around the dining-room table, Mom and Dad digging into swordfish steaks smothered in balsamic sauce, plus wild rice and mesclun salad, Ingrid and Ty eyeing the food warily.
Dad poured wine for himself and Mom.
“How about a little sip for the kids?” he said.
“I’m not sure that’s the direction we want to go,” said Mom.
“Oh, right,” said Dad.
Mom gave him a quick look. “How was everyone’s day?”
“Fine,” said Ingrid.
“Yeah,” said Ty.
“How’s Shakespeare coming along?” Mom said. First semester, ninth grade at Echo Falls High meant Romeo and Juliet, no exceptions.
“No complaints,” said Ty.
“Good,” said Mom. “Where are you in the play?”
“You know, um,” said Ty.
Ingrid swirled the Fresca in her glass. Entertainment was on the way.
Ty cut off a big hunk of swordfish, stuffed it in his mouth. “Hey, real tasty,” he said, or something like that—hard to tell with his mouth so full.
“Your mom asked where you are in the play,” Dad said.
Ty made a big show of chewing, held up his index finger for more time.
“It doesn’t really matter,” Mom said, “as long as he’s enjoying it.” She got a faraway look in her eye. Ingrid knew what was coming: poetry. Mom had tons of it in her head. “‘What’s in a name?’” she said. “‘That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet.’”
“That’s from Romeo and Juliet?” Dad said.
“Act two,” said Mom.
Ty’s Adam’s apple bobbed as he got the swordfish down. “We’re still on act one,” he said.
“I’m not sure about that,” said Ingrid.
“What the hell?” said Ty.
“Not where you are in the play,” Ingrid said, just stopping herself from adding bozo, what with this formal dining-room atmosphere and all. “I mean about the rose.”
“Huh?” said Ty.
“Smelling as sweet by any other name?” Mom said.
“Yeah,” said Ingrid. “Like what if it was called a skunk instead of a rose?”
“Are you making fun of your mother?” said Dad.
“Mark,” said Mom, “of course she isn’t. She’s raising an interesting point.”
“What’s interesting about it?” said Ty.
“This whole question of names,” said Mom. “Would you be any different if we’d called you something else?”
“Brucie, for example,” said Ingrid.
“Like that dork on your bus?” said Ty. “You’re saying I’d be a dork?”
Ingrid tried the wild rice. Not bad at all.
“’Cause you’re the dork,” Ty said.
“Kids,” said Mom. “This is a nice family dinner.”
“So knock it off right now,” said Dad, with a quick glare for each of them.
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